Liverpool open talks with Chelsea for Van Dijk replacement as Saudi exit plan takes shape

Sooner or later it appears Virgil van Dijk’s legendary Liverpool career is coming to an end. The soon-to-be 33-year-old is out of contract in 2025 with no breakthrough so far over a new deal. 

The Netherlands captain stated on international duty a few weeks ago that discussions over a new contract wouldn’t make sense right now, leading to speculation that he could be soon parting ways with the Anfield side. 

Then came a report that the Reds intended to delay talks over a new deal until the end of 2024, with Van Dijk free to discuss a contract with overseas teams from January. 

Van Dijk will be 34 by the time his current contract runs out and it would make sense that Liverpool’s higher-ups would be creating a blueprint for a succession plan. 

The former Celtic stopper is now emerging as a key target for Saudi Pro League clubs this summer with a bombshell new report stating that the £75 million defender’s representatives are in the process of trashing out a deal with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr

If the captain leaves this summer or next then Liverpool will require a high-quality replacement to slot in on the left-hand side of their central defence. 

And according to the latest reports, the Reds have come back again for a long-term target

Liverpool enquire about Levi Colwill

Chelsea’s Levi Colwill has been chased by Liverpool ever since his loan spell at Brighton in the 2022/23 season. When he returned to Stamford Bridge last summer the Reds tried hard for his signature but came away empty-handed. 

It was reckoned that Liverpool’s decision makers admired Colwill’s speed and versatility, being capable of playing on the left side of a centre back duo, in a back three and also at left back. 

Virgil Van Dijk

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At a stroke he could be a replacement for Van Dijk, a player who could produce a tactical tweak should Trent Alexander-Arnold move into midfield from right back and provide cover for the now injury-hit Andy Robertson all at once. 

HITC claims Liverpool have begun speaking with Chelsea over a deal for the 21-year-old England international, who is reportedly unhappy about playing so often at left back, rather than in his preferred centre back berth. 

Chelsea selling academy graduates

Colwill played 32 matches for the Blues last season under Mauricio Pochettino, even captaining the side on one occasion, but played slightly more at left back. 

He is under contract at Stamford Bridge until 2029 with the club holding an option for an extra year and so any deal is going to be complicated. 

As Chelsea seek some financial headroom, homegrown players like Conor Gallagher, Trevoh Chalobah and Armando Broja have been actively shopped around but academy graduate Colwill is seen as a key asset by Chelsea’s owners. 

Liverpool’s trump card in negotiations for the player could be a promise to use him at centre back, a possibility that looms into focus as Van Dijk exit plans take place. 

Colwill ended the season on the sidelines with a toe injury but is expected to be a key player for club and country going forward. 

Liverpool wait in the wings for Chelsea’s reply. 

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